Example 1: Plagiarize the original text by copying portions of it word-for-word.
- There will always be instability in these rankings, some of which will reflect “real” performance changes. But it is difficult to trust any performance rating if the odds of getting the same rating next year are no better than a coin toss.
Example 2: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, without copying it word-for-word.
- Sean Corcoran, an economist at New York University, studied New York City and Houston’s teacher evaluation systems. His findings show that a New York City teacher’s average “margin of error” was plus or minus 28 points.
Example 3: Plagiarize the original text by paraphrasing its structure too closely, and include a citation. Even though you cited it, paraphrasing too closely is still plagiarism.
- Between years, the value-added scores fluctuate. It is likely that a teacher with a particular ranking one year will get a different ranking the next year (Ravitch, 270-71).
Example 4: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, and include a citation to the original source.
- Although some rankings manifest true performance changes, they are characterized as unstable (Ravitch, 270-71).
Example 5: Properly paraphrase from the original text by restating the author’s ideas in different words and phrases, add a direct quote, and include a citation to the original source.
- Attempting to separate a teachers impact through the test scores their students produce, estimates of value-added and other “growth models” “are alarmingly error-prone (Ravitch, 270-71).”
Diane Ravitch, The Death and Life of the Great American School System. New York: Basic Books, 2011, pp. 270-71.
One thought on “Avoiding Plagiarism Exercise”
Based on the avoiding plagiarism assignment, you grasp most of the key concepts here, but I offer these suggestions to reinforce the main point and to improve the clarity of your writing.
In example 5, you were instructed to paraphrase properly, but you copied the structure of the sentence too closely.
Here is the relevant section of the original passage:
No measure is perfect, but the estimates of value-added and other “growth models,” which attempt to isolate the “true effect” of an individual teacher through his or her students’ test scores, are alarmingly error-prone in any given year.
And here is the portion you wrote that copies the original structure too closely:
. . .estimates of value-added and other “growth models”. . .
In addition, your example 5 is hard to read because it mistakenly placed two quotations back-to-back, and accidentally quoted “(Ravitch, 270-271),” which is not part of the original source. Furthermore, an apostrophe should be included here: a teacher’s impact
Taken together, a better way to rewrite example 5 might look something like this:
We should avoid attempts to separate a teacher’s impact through the test scores their students produce, because “growth models” and value-added estimates “are alarmingly error-prone” (Ravitch, 270-271).
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